Mothers are celebrated (if sometimes vilified) for their eagerness to advise their children on matters big and small: how to behave, what to wear, whom to marry, when to have kids ... and, oh yes, how to stay healthy during cold and flu season.
Does science back up what Dr. Mom told you about the common cold? Or was she full of hot air? Here's what real doctors have to say about 10 familiar cold-busting tips:
But if you know what the symptoms are and how to take precautions, you can avoid these problems and stay healthy.
What Is the Flu?
It's a very contagious disease caused by the influenza virus. People tend to catch it most often in the fall and winter. It comes on fast and strong, spreading through your upper respiratory tract and sometimes invading your lungs.
It can happen when the flu virus enters your lung or when you get a bacterial infection during the course of the illness. Pneumonia can make you quite ill and may send you to the hospital.
It can cause chills, fever, chest pains, and sweating. You might have a cough with green or bloody mucus. You could notice a faster pulse, and your lips or nails might have a bluish tint because of a lack of oxygen. Other symptoms include shortness of breath and sharp pains in your chest when you take a deep breath. Seniors may only notice a pain in the belly.